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Engaging with Young Alumni | Case Study: Transylvania University

As higher education institutions seek to build strong and engaged alumni networks, they face the challenge of keeping young alumni connected and involved after they graduate. At Transylvania University, members of the advancement team have developed a range of strategies to engage with and stay connected to young alumni. In this blog, we explore some of these strategies and the benefits they offer to both young alumni and the institution.

Creating a Student Alumni Association

The Transylvania University alumni and development (advancement) office works closely with a student alumni association to help students understand what it means to be an alum and to encourage them to join the alumni association upon graduation. By starting this engagement early and building connections with students, the university is better able to maintain long-term relationships with young alumni.

Senior Fundraising Challenge

They also have a senior fundraising challenge to encourage students to give back to their alma mater upon graduation. This helps young alumni understand the importance of philanthropy and the role it plays in supporting the institution and future generations of students.

Young Alumni Council

To better understand the younger generation of alumni and plan outreach and events targeted to them, Transylvania University has a young alumni council made up of 30 alumni. This council helps to bridge the gap between the university and young alumni, ensuring that the institution is meeting their needs and engaging with them in meaningful ways.

Robust Social Media Presence

The school also has a robust social media presence, with a strong focus on Instagram, because it is more commonly used by the younger generation. This allows the university to share updates, events, and news with young alumni in a way that is familiar and accessible to them.

Mentorship Program

The Center for Academic and Professional Enrichment engages with young alumni through a mentorship program that pairs students with alumni in their chosen career fields. This program provides valuable networking opportunities for young alumni and helps them develop their professional skills and connections.

Alumni Survey and Newsletter

To better understand the needs and preferences of young alumni, the school frequently surveys its alumni on the types of events and outreach they want to see. They also use newsletters - a targeted young alumni newsletter as well as a general alumni newsletter, to keep their alumni up-to-date on news and events.

Faculty Outreach and Segmented Outreach

The Advancement team works closely with faculty members to stay in touch with alumni after graduation. Faculty members are encouraged to connect with alumni in their fields and bring them back to campus for events and other opportunities. The university also segments its outreach and event types per generation, ensuring that young alumni are targeted with events and activities that are most relevant to their interests and needs.

Engaging with Young Alumni for a Stronger Future

By creating a range of targeted and engaging strategies, Transylvania University has demonstrated a commitment to staying connected to its young alumni and building a strong and engaged alumni network. These strategies can serve as a model for other higher education institutions seeking to engage and retain their young alumni. By staying connected to young alumni, institutions can tap into a valuable resource of knowledge, skills, and support for the institution and future generations of students.

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